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China Says Google "No Exception" To Law

PTI 19 Jan 2010, 21:45:43 IST
PTI

China on Tuesday told Google Inc that it will not make an "exception" for it and asked the US internet giant to observe Chinese laws and shoulder its "social responsibilities" if the company had to do business in the world's most populous nation.

"Foreign companies in China should respect the laws and regulations, respect the public interest of Chinese people and China's culture and customs and shoulder due social responsibilities," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said.

"There is no exception for Google," Ma was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

He did not mention censorship as being among those "social responsibilities".

Ma's remarks came just a week after Google said it might quit China, citing disagreements with government policies and unidentified attacks targeting its services in China.

Ma claimed that China's internet sector was "open" and "managed in accordance with the law."

China had the maximum internet users in the world, and it "encourages the use and development of the internet," he said.

China's population of internet users jumped by nearly a third to 384 million at the end of last year, bigger than the entire population of the United States, which is 304 million.

Ma said China would continue to create a favourable investment environment for foreign companies, including internet firms, and to protect their legitimate rights.

"China welcomes international investors conducting business within the country according to the law," he said.

Google said last week that a sophisticated attack in December from China targeted the California-based company's infrastructure and at least 20 other major firms from the internet, financial services, technology, media and chemical industries.

Google also said that dozens of people pressing for human rights in China had had their e-mail accounts hacked. PTI